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A look back at HI’s sustainability projects

July 14, 2014

At Hostelling International (HI), sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Whether that be social, environmental or economic, we strive to contribute to the creation of a worldwide sustainable hostel network with the help of passionate, like-minded people all over the world.

Here’s a little look back at some of the projects that have been happening within the HI network over the last few years…

Sleep for Peace – HI USA

Peace sign

As Mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a smile”. A smile means the same thing in every country, so wherever in the world you’re from, a simple smile to one another in one of our hostels can mark the start of a friendship and encourage cultural understanding – a notion which we believe can ultimately lead to peace.

As designated by the United Nations, 21 September marks the International Day of Peace. In the spirit of this day, HI USA set up the ‘Sleep for Peace’ initiative. During this time, $1 from every overnight hostel stay across the network was allocated towards a very worthy fund, allowing underprivileged youth the opportunity to experience hostelling.

Throughout the project, hostel staff and volunteers were busy running numerous peace inspired activities, giving engaging presentations, and encouraging hostel go-ers to get involved. The hostelling experience truly is one of a kind, and as a result of this wonderful fund, more and more people had the chance to experience it.

Volunteerism in Bolivia and Norway

Volunteering with HI Bolivia

Two of Hostelling International’s ongoing projects is that of volunteering programmes across Bolivia and Norway. The programmes invite people from all around the world to lend a hand in our hostels, and contribute to fulfilling HI’s mission.

Being a volunteer is all about being the person to ‘kick it all off’, to inspire and create channels of cultural understanding between those staying in our hostels. The volunteers are there to aid HI in bringing people from all sorts of cultural backgrounds together as one during their stay, making the most of their experience.

Volunteers are able to put forward their ideas, and contribute in their own way to generating cultural understanding during their time working with us, all the while staying in our hostels of course! This project not only aids the people visiting the hostels, but the volunteers too. For more information and to find out how you can become one of our valuable volunteers visit the site here.

The Ngong Ping Charity Walk

Hong Kong charity walk

Every year In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Youth Hostels Association (HKYHA) organise The Ngong Ping Charity Walk (NPCW). The hikers taking part in this fun (but demanding!) walk have the choice of three different routes – the challenger route at 23km, the explorer route at 17km and the leisure route at 11km, depending on how energetic they’re feeling!

Whichever route they decide to take on, participants are all contributing and helping to raise levels of public awareness of conservation, alongside raising heaps of money for the local hostels and various meaningful cultural youth projects in the area.

The project welcomes internationals to participate and offers a special stay over package, so why not grab those comfy walking shoes and take part this year?

Korea Youth Rally

Korea Youth Rally

This year Hostelling International Korea will be hosting the 39th annual International Youth Rally. The aim of the rally is to encourage people aged 16 to 27, from all across the globe, to come together and focus on the Conservation of History and Culture. During the rally a whole host of engaging activities take place, along with the participation of several guest speakers encouraging participants to discuss the topics at hand and share their resolution ideas.

The rally is all about interaction, participants’ ideas and cultural understanding – oh and HI pay for everything aside from the flights as a thank you for your help! So why not send off your application and see if you can get involved in this year’s rally?

Heart 2 Heart Youth Hostel, China

Heart 2 Heart Youth Hostel

In China, Hostelling International and the Youth Hostels Association of China have been working together on the H2H Youth hostel in Tuan Jie Zhen. The project was presented with a bronze award in the Creative Charity Project category within the China National Charity Contest in 2013. The hostel runs a range of different programmes and activities throughout the year, from sustainable development, environmental awareness, study groups for youths to social work and even fruit picking! The aim of the hostel is to aid migrant worker communities to in many ways improve their quality of life.

Located in Kunming, immersed in the idyllic, beautiful countryside, the hostel really is the perfect retreat! From challenging bike trails and paintballing, to pottery workshops and historic temples, there’s always a lot going on. H2H hostel is a registered charity and all proceeds go solely towards other charitable activities and events.

Iceland ‘Swap till you drop!’

Loft Hostel - swap till you drop

In HI’s Loft hostel in Iceland, ‘Swap till you drop’, a clothing and book exchange event, is a regular and well-known occurrence. The event invites people to come along with any books or clothes they no longer want for others to take home with them, and for them to grab some new things left by others. A book or dress you’re bored of might be loved by someone else! The initiative not only serves as an exchange, but as a social hub, allowing the opportunity to meet new people and catch up with friends, whilst at the same time renewing your closet and bookshelf!

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